Pick of the quarter: Striking the right balance between influencer & brand content

Partner content: Garnier Ultra Doux partnered with popular influencer Mimi to boost brand equity, awareness and drive sales. The natural hair care brand needed to tread the fine line of being authentic while carrying a solid marketing message.

L’Oréal haircare brand Garnier needed to produce educational yet entertaining content to promote its newest range, Almond Milk. Its goal was to raise brand equity and drive sales for its natural care megabrand.

The main target audience was women in Saudi Arabia aged 15-50, interested in beauty and natural hair care products.

Garnier decided to leverage its relationship with Meryem Karim, a popular influencer better known as Mimi on her Instagram handle @Eswaratti. She has 1.6 million followers.

In partnership with Mimi, media agency UM and Facebook Creative Shop, L’Oréal created an authentic communication platform to educate consumers on Ultra Doux’s newest range, and in particular its leave-in cream.

The marriage of native influencer and brand content was the perfect mix to increase brand awareness and drive purchase intent. The campaign ran throughout July 2020.

From a client perspective, L’Oréal’s challenge was to find the optimal mix of branding. The content needed to remain native and authentic to Mimi’s style, but still communicate the unique selling points of the Ultra Doux range and to drive enough brand awareness.

When the campaign went live, both brand assets and influencer assets outperformed the benchmark view-through rates, proving that their target audience found the content both interesting and relevant.

The influencer assets drove twice as many click-throughs as the brand assets. The campaign’s success demonstrated the confidence consumers have towards beauty-savvy and locally relevant influencers.

Myriam Bunni, senior brand manager at Ultra Doux, says the campaign results confirmed her team’s hypothesis that the combination of brand assets and influencer content would outperform other scenarios tested in a brand lift study.

The campaign resulted in an overall lift of 7.6 points in ad recall, 2.4 points in brand awareness, 2.1 points in message association and 1.6 points in purchase intent.

The results from the brand lift study were key to shaping L’Oréal’s strategy for the remainder of 2020 and for 2021.
They also encouraged the establishment of continuous measurement to monitor improvement on the basis of awareness and purchase intent.

The effect on sales reflected the brand lift study results. Sales volume of Garnier Ultra Doux leave-in cream rose by 55 per cent in the month of the campaign, compared to previous months. The cream hit record levels of market share in Saudi Arabia and became the best-selling product in Garnier’s e-commerce portfolio.

Ahmed ‘Fizo’ Younis, Creative Shop lead, Facebook

At Creative shop we believe the use of influencers or content creators needs to go hand in hand with a solid brand advertising strategy. We were very happy to see the results from our fruitful collaboration with L’Oréal proving that creating a harmonious approach between influencers’ content and advertising assets can generate the most positive impact on brand metrics.

Myriam Bunni, senior brand manager Ultra Doux

Hoping to learn how to strike the perfect balance between brand content and influencer content, we launched the first quadripartite regional test. The marriage of native influencer and brand content was the perfect mix to increase brand awareness and drive purchase intention. The positive findings of this test have clearly redefined our content and media strategy moving forward.

Austyn Allison, editor, Campaign Middle East

July was not an easy time for sales, and I’m sure it was particularly challenging for hair and beauty products, as people were only just coming out of lockdown. However, Garnier and UM look to have taken advantage of the new-found connections consumers forged with their favourite influencers during the dark days of Covid-19. The results show how effective this sort of strategy can be when all parties involved strike the right balance between
the influencer’s authentic voice and the brand’s marketing message.